the Glad Game

If you have ever watched the movie, Pollyanna, then you will know all about the Glad Game! My brother and I watched this movie over and over when we were younger, and the Glad Game has become one of our favourite family jokes.

You don’t have a clue what I’m talking about? Here’s a little background…

Pollyanna is an orphan who goes to live with her aunt in a town that is full of grumpy people. This doesn’t perturb Pollyanna, who uses any excuse to look on the bright side by playing the Glad Game. The game came about one Christmas when Pollyanna, hoping for a doll, looked into the missionary barrel to find a pair of crutches! Merry Christmas to her! Her father said that they should be glad that they don’t have to use the crutches, and so the Glad Game (and her obsession with it) was born.  Pollyanna plays the Glad Game with everyone in town… You can imagine how annoying that was to most of them! Click here see how she played the Glad Game with her aunt’s servants.


Earlier this morning, Mum was grumbling about the “depressing” weather – it’s cloudy and a bit chilly here in Bushmans. Then she perked up a little and mumbled: “well I guess at least it’s not windy”, to which I replied: “You can be glad of that!” This got me thinking… I could do with a few rounds of the Glad Game!

I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself this week. I had planned so perfectly.

  1. Come home for Christmas in December
  2. Go to Stellenbosch in January for my course
  3. Be back early February in time for all our visitors
  4. Leave for the high seas mid March!

Sigh. Upon finishing the Cruise Ship Photography course, we were told that it would probably take a month for us to be placed. Though some of my fellow photogs-in-waiting grumbled at having to wait so long, I thought this was wonderful! I would get to see all the visitors and be on a ship by the middle of March for my 8 month contract. This meant I would be back home mid November for my 6-8 weeks holiday before my next contract would start. My brother is planning a trip home for Christmas this year, so this would mean I’d be here for his entire stay – Yay!

But here I sit… more than a week has passed since the one month deadline and I still know nothing about my placement.  No one from our course has been placed yet and no one at the academy seems to know anything. It’s really frustrating sitting around waiting without a clue as to whether you will need to be on a ship in 2 days or 2 weeks… hopefully not 2 months!

What can I say? Maybe I’ll hear something tomorrow? In the meantime, I’m spending time with my mum and living in beautiful Bushmans with the river & beach a short walk away. Even with this cloudy weather, I can be glad of that.



the Hunt


Spooky Fence

After calling the Eastern Cape of South Africa home for 13 years, I can finally call myself a true, hardcore Eastern Caper! As my brother would say… I am Hyellen from the East Cape!

Last week I was invited to a braai at my friend, Roald’s farm, which is about a 25min drive from Bushmans. Off I trucked in Toodaloo (my little Chevy Spark), armed with meat, wine and pajamas and was greeted by 4 beer guzzling guys and the cutest puppy in the Eastern Cape! After about an hour of chatting and stoking the already roaring fire, Roald announced that it was time for the hunt, so off we set. I was pretty content sitting in the front of the bakkie (aka LDV or pick-up truck) with my camera and full glass of wine while the guys squabbled over who got to hold the gun first… Roald won.

Now the purpose of the hunt was to shoot the wild pigs that were running amuck and making a nuisance of themselves on the farm. You can imagine my horror when the first animal sighted and shot was a beautiful duiker. Not the endangered blue duiker at least, but a beautiful, harmless bokkie (Afrikaans for small antelope) nonetheless. Apparently they make amazing biltong…

In the end each of the guys shot a duiker. After the first kill, the only time I got a bit “panicky” was when a rabbit was spotted. As the guys were trying to aim for this poor fluffy creature I was chanting “run run run.” under my breath… Okay… Maybe it was more like “run Run RUN!” Haha. Whatever! It worked and they missed!

Since it was Zaniel’s first kill, he had to be initiated, which meant he had to eat the buck’s (still warm) liver. At first Zaniel seemed quite happy, probably pumped up on adrenaline and feeling all manly. Roald cut off a piece of the duiker’s liver and Zaniel readily took it and smiled for the camera before taking a bite.

What happened next, which I did catch on camera, but think is a bit too graphic to post, turned this hunter’s frown upside down and inside out. Let’s just say, Zaniel’s faced was painted warrior red by his “friends” and his gag reflex was repeatedly exercised as soon as the liver touched his lips… lovely.

What was lovelier, were the photo’s that I took along the way. I took the opportunity to play with my camera’s settings and settling on a shutter speed of 4 seconds and aperture of 2.8, I took various shots (stabilizing my camera on the bakkie door) with my ISO set to between 400 and 1600. The resulting shots were both eerie and beautiful.

So after an eventful evening, I’m left with some experimental photo’s, a few grubby puppy paws on my clothing, but I am still waiting for my homemade duiker biltong… HINT HINT!


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